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Dominance Problem

February 9th, 2004, 09:38 PM
Hi There
We have been blessed with two wonderful pooches, Payne (3 years old) a St Bernard/Pyranees cross who we have had since she was a pup, and Mavis (3.5 years old) a Basset that we rescued at 2 years old. The two have gotten along well since coming together one and a half years ago. Payne, who normally is the gentle giant has recently started some dominance games with Mavis. Mavis is submissive to it all. An example is when Payne is lying at the top of the stairs, Mavis will not come up the stairs and whines till I move Payne out of the way so Mavis can make her way up the stairs. It doesn't seem to be a huge issue, and the girls get along well with this exception. I am just fearfull that it will get worse as we go on. Is this normal behavior for two dogs, one giant dog and one short dog? I don't know. I haven't spoken to the vet about it...should I? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Lucky Rescue
February 9th, 2004, 10:35 PM
This is very normal behavior. Among dogs, one is always the alpha, or dominant one particularly between two spayed bitches.

As long as there is no violence, you would be better not to interfere, as Mavis seems content with her submissive role. Dogs understand this very well.

If you interfere, you are elevating Mavis' position (by making Payne move, etc) and Payne may feel she needs to take more drastic steps to reinforce HER position.

February 10th, 2004, 08:25 AM
You have to pick who is the dominant dog. I picked my oldest one. So then when it comes to feeding...she gets first before the others. If there is treats..she gets firsts. Even when we are running through obediance things Goldy is first to get praised.

I have read allot about this because of some many dogs there does become the dominate issue.

But there will be little fights and squabbles no matter how much you try. If they fight don't yell or get between them....let themselves sort it out. Of course if it becomes a major scrap and someone is being hurt you can yell or make a loud noise.

February 10th, 2004, 09:44 AM
You didn't mention if the dogs had been fixed. Since the one is a rescue dog I would assume she is, but it could be a hormone thing! Not like that has never happened to us right!:D

February 17th, 2004, 07:58 PM
It's nice to hear that we really don't have anything to be concerned with. Both Payne and Mavis are spayed.